August 29, 2023
“The British Retail Consortium’s Shop Price Index hit 6.9%, marking its lowest point since Nov 2022. We also received the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ JOLTS Job Openings report forecast for this afternoon of 9.49M, highlighting a continued downward trend and the second lowest forecast since August 2021.”
Sam Cornford, Partner – Head of Trading
The US State Department has selected experienced diplomat Mark Lambert to lead its China policy, aiming to address staffing issues and improve its approach to China-focused efforts. Lambert is expected to take on the role of deputy assistant secretary for China and Taiwan, filling the vacancy left by the former head of the Office of China Coordination in June. In other news, the US Transportation Department fined American Airlines $4.1 million on Monday for unlawfully keeping thousands of passengers on tarmacs for extended periods. This penalty is the largest ever for such a violation, following an Office of Aviation Consumer Protection investigation.
The ULEZ program, aimed at lowering traffic emissions via a daily fee on high-pollution vehicles, expanded citywide on Tuesday. Despite opposition, critics claim it could exacerbate cost of living issues. Detractors argue the £12.50 daily charge on older vehicles is unfair amidst the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and might result in economic consequences. In other news, the UK will be hosting a global AI summit for Rishi Sunak to promote Britain’s leadership in securing advanced AI. Experts will discuss mitigating AI risks, covering issues such as election misinformation and military applications, and will take place at the historic venue of Britain’s WWII codebreakers, Bletchley Park.
Sterling is well bid against most major currencies overnight. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority plans a broader probe into major homebuilders’ extensive land holdings and high fees for transferring housing estates to local upkeep. This follows a six-month review due to concerns about slow home delivery and the CMA has highlighted five main issues, including estate fees and land reserves, for deeper examination in the next study phase. In other news, the British retail consortium released their Shop Price Index report, which measures price fluctuations of items bought at BRC-member retail stores. The reported figure is 6.9%, which has shown a consistent downward trend for the previous months reporting and is the lowest figure since Nov 2022.
The Euro is weaker than most major currencies in the early morning trade. Earlier this morning GfK released their Consumer Climate reporting. This measures the responses to a survey of consumers on the relative level of past and future economic conditions. The forecast was -24.5, however the actual figure was lower by 1.0 to -25.5, so we will see how this trend develops. Yesterday we also received the M3 Money supply reporting from the ECB, which measures the fluctuation in domestic currency circulation and bank deposits. The forecast was set at 0.0%, however the actual reported figure was -0.4%, which is the lowest since March 2010, which shows a sharp increase in an already alarming downturn.
The Dollar is stronger against the Euro and weaker against Sterling this morning. Later this afternoon the Bureau of Labour Statistics released their JOLTS Job Openings reports, which measures job vacancies in the reported month, excluding agriculture. The previous reporting has been a mixed bag, however this forecast has been the 2nd lowest figure since Aug 2021, so we will see how this trend develops. The S&P will also be releasing the Composite-20 HPI Y/Y index today, which will measure the fluctuation in selling prices of homes in 20 urban areas. This report has had a consistently positive showing in response to the forecasts, so we will see if this continues with this month’s forecast of -1.5%.
Stocks gained for a second day as traders awaited a raft of economic figures over the next few days for clues on the outlook for global central bank policies. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.6% at the open, led by miners and real estate after China pledged further measures to support its economy. Treasury yields dipped, and a gauge of the dollar was steady. NN Group NV jumped almost 10% after the financial-services company reported results that beat analysts’ expectations. Telecom Italia SpA gained after Italy’s government took steps to take a stake in its network business. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 edged higher. Treasury yields dipped, while a gauge of the dollar was steady.
Main Economic Data/Central Banks/Government (All Times CET)
8:00 a.m.: Germany Sept. GfK Consumer Confidence
8:00 a.m.: Sweden 2Q GDP
8:45 a.m.: France Aug. Consumer Confidence
9:00 a.m.: Spain July Retail Sales
9:00 a.m.: Turkey July Trade Balance
9:00 a.m.: Czech 2Q GDP
9:30 a.m.: Riksbank’s Bunge speaks
11:00 a.m.: Croatia 2Q GDP
11:00 a.m.: Italy to sell bills
11:30 a.m.: Germany to sell bonds
2:00 p.m.: Hungary Rate Decision
3:00 p.m.: US June FHFA House Price Index~
4:00 p.m.: US Aug. Conf. Board Consumer Confidence
9:00 p.m.: Fed’s Barr speaks on banking services
Earnings include Catalent, Bunzl, Brunello Cucinelli, Cadeler, NN Group, PPD Holdings